ANDY MUTCH is promising Town that LDV Vans Trophy opponents Morecambe will be highly motivated for tonight's first-round tie at the Galpharm Stadium (7.45).
The former Wolves striker is coach at Christie Park, where long-serving manager Jim Harvey is looking to mount a promotion campaign from the Conference to the Football League this season.
Injuries have so far hampered their progress, but Mutch - famous as the Molineux strike partner of Steve Bull - believes the Shrimps will be buoyed by surroundings at the stadium.
"The lads are looking forward to it," said 40-year-old Mutch, who began and ended his playing career at Southport, sandwiching spells with Wolves, Swindon, Wigan (loan), Stockport and Barrow.
"It is a marvellous stadium - I've had the privilege of playing there myself - and I know the lads will enjoy the experience.
"That alone means they will be up for the game and we will go about it as seriously as any game we play.
"We know it will be a very tough test, but we will enjoy it, we will organise properly and we will apply ourselves fully to the game.
"Hopefully, we will give a very good account of ourselves."
Morecambe's 3-1 success against Halifax at The Shay last midweek was only their third win in 10 outings, and Saturday's 1-1 draw against Farnborough left them 13th.
But they are rated by many as among the favourites for the Conference title.
Fans have warmed to ex-Manchester United and Chester striker Michael Twiss, who plays alongside last season's 17-goal leading marksman Danny Carlton up front for the Christie Park side.
Garry Thompson has pace on the right flank, Wayne Curtis can cause problems cutting in from the left and centre midfielder Kieran Warmsley takes a mean free-kick.
Brawny centre-backs Jim Bentley and Iain Swan are only too keen to get on the end of those - midfielder Michael Stringfellow is also tall - so Town will need to be clued-up for Morecambe's set pieces.
Harvey's squad also has plenty of professional depth, most notably Northern Ireland Under 21 cap Terry McFlynn and former Dundee United and Queen of the South striker Sean O'Connor.
"We have been renowned for the last few years as being a good side and we've built a good squad for this season, but injuries have been a factor so far," said Mutch.
"We've been patching the lads up game by game and sending out a team with people playing in unfamiliar positions, which has made life difficult at times.
"But we've been grinding results out slowly but surely and the wins last week against Woking and Halifax were very pleasing ahead of what we knew would be a tough test at Farnborough on Saturday.
"Now, we are looking forward to the LDV tie which takes a bit of pressure off our League situation. Obviously we want to do well but, unfortunately, since the draw was made, Huddersfield have had some very good wins as well, so it will be hard.
"We approach every game the same way, though - determined to compete."
This is Morecambe's fourth foray into the LDV competition.
On each occasion they have been drawn away to League opposition - Lincoln, Shrewsbury and Wrexham before now - and on each occasion they have lost.
WHILE Morecambe have never played Town before, they have been to these parts.
In November 1997 they played a sensational FA Cup first round replay at Emley's Welfare Ground.
A crowd of 2,439 watched the clubs fight out a 3-3 draw after extra time (it was 1-1 at Christie Park).
Morecambe took the lead in the final minute of extra time before Gary Marshall struck with 23 seconds left!
Chris Marples then pulled off three saves in the shoot-out while Ian Banks, Deiniol Graham and Steve Nicholson put Emley through.